I have heard people say that we shouldn’t compare our real lives with the polished pictures and portrayals we see on social media. On an intellectual level, I understand this, but sometimes my heart and my brain don’t communicate very well.
I see that smiling face on a friend’s page and I imagine her life without struggle.
I see her post about faith and think she never has any doubts.
I see her home and imagine an effortless cleaning route and a natural gift to make her space beautiful.
And then I look at myself and wonder how they have it all figured out and I’m struggling. How is it that I other people have everything figured out and running smoothly, and I can’t seem to get through a day without a feeling of panic and overwhelm threatening to overtake me. I don’t always think like this, some days I manage a healthy perspective, but not always. I think it’s important to remember we are each on our own journey, all at different places. That friend I see online has a different story, different successes and different hardships. It’s like that saying about comparing apples to oranges. I’m not the same person I was 5 years ago, or 10 or 20. When we think about our own next steps, let’s remember to look at our own journey, where we actually are, and move forward from there.
I love this quote by Leanna Tankersley:
“We start where we are, not where we want to be, which requires a new level of honesty with ourselves” ~Leanna Tankersley, Begin Again
Comparing ourselves to others will only leave us stuck. Other people can be an inspiration, as long as we use their example as inspiration and not slip into shaming ourselves for not being where they are. I don’t know where you are today, or what your next steps might be, but let’s remember to compare ourselves with ourselves and not the friend we are walking with.
And remember to just breathe and begin again.